Society

Country Split On Whether Obama Left America Better Off

| by Robert Fowler

A new survey has found that American adults are mixed on the progression of the United States during the past eight years under the leadership of President Barack Obama.

The data indicates that during the Obama administration, Americans believe the country has made the most progress on the issue of LGBT rights while having taking the biggest step back on the federal debt.

On Jan. 9, a new survey conducted by Gallup found that Americans believed that the United States had lost ground on 14 out of 19 policy issues since 2009, when Obama assumed office.

The issues that Americans were most positive on included the status of LGBT Americans, energy, climate change and the economy. Meanwhile, they were most down on income inequality, the federal debt, crime and race relations. On the topic of health care, American adults were evenly split on whether or not the country had made progress.

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The study found that 68 percent of respondents believed that the United States had made progress in civil rights for gays and lesbians while 16 percent believe that the country had lost ground. When asked about the economy, 42 percent thought it had improved while 36 percent said that it had become worse.

On energy issues, 46 percent believed that the United States had improved while 23 percent thought that American energy had worsened. On the issue of climate change, 33 percent of respondents saw progress, while 23 percent were displeased.

Only 14 percent of respondents thought that the country had made progress on the gap between the rich and the poor while 48 believed that it had widened. On the topic of the federal debt, 21 percent said that it had improved while 57 percent responded that it had worsened.

On the topic of crime, 21 percent thought that the country had made progress while 56 percent asserted that it had lost ground. Finally, 25 percent of respondents perceived race relations in the country to have improved in the last eight years while 52 percent said they had soured.

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When comparing respondents’ attitudes toward the last eight years to their survey results in 2009, Gallup found that Americans felt more positively following the Obama administration than they had after President George W. Bush’s time in office.

The polling group found that respondents’ perception of progress following Obama’s tenure compared favorably to his predecessor on eight of 12 policy issues, including the economy, health care, energy, education, climate change, immigration and America’s standing in the world.

Aggregating the last 11 national polls released since Jan. 9, RealClearPolitics found that Obama nears his final days in office with an average job approval rating of 56.7 percent, with 40 percent disapproving of his performance.

PolitiFact, a nonpartisan fact-checking website that monitors politicians, has compiled a scorecard tracking Obama’s campaign promises throughout his eight years in office. As of Jan. 18, they estimate that he had kept 48.2 percent of his promises, compromised on 27.6 percent of his promises, and broken 24.2 percent of his promises.

Sources: Gallup, PolitiFactRealClearPolitics / Photo Credit: Erik Drost/Flickr

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